Arsene Wenger says his Arsenal future will be decided by the “bigger picture”, rather than a bad two weeks, as the 67-year-old revealed he still hasn’t made up his mind on whether to sign a two-year contract extension.
Doubt over whether the Emirates manager will stay has only grown in what has been a dismal spring spell, that has seen Arsenal lose 5-1 to Bayern Munich in their Champions League last-16 first leg and left them with a near-impossible task for Tuesday’s return in London. Wenger, however, had stressed on the eve of the game that he deserves the time to make a decision given how he has “built up” the club.
Pressed on whether he has “boxed himself into a corner” due to maybe needing the right spell of form to announce he is staying if he did decide that, Wenger responded: “Well I guess to take a bigger picture, you know.
Who could Arsenal eventually replace Sanchez with?
Who could Arsenal eventually replace Sanchez with?
1/6 Marco Reus (Borussia Dortmund)
At 27 years old, this summer is probably Reus’ last chance for a big-money move and his direct style of running from wide positions makes him an obvious replacement for Sanchez. The biggest competition for his signature would likely come from Liverpool but, financially, Arsenal should be able to edge it. However, given the Gunners’ injury record, how wise would it be signing someone with an injury history as rich as Reus’?
2/6 Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid)
Highly unlikely with Manchester United sniffing around but if Arsenal make the top four and the Red Devils don’t, there is always a possibility. And there’s the money available – even at £84m. Griezmann would be the kind of statement signing Arsenal have been yearning for and would be a signal of intent that they are really ready to challenge for the title again.
3/6 Yannick Carrasco (Atletico Madrid)
A more realistic but equally as exciting a prospect. Carrasco has 14 goals already this season and is a powerful runner who seems, physically, like he would adapt quickly to the rigours of the Premier League. His workrate is exceptional – similar to that of Sanchez’s – and at only 23 years old he would be a long-term signing and Arsenal could use the uncertainty surrounding Diego Simeone’s future to prize the Belgian to north London.
4/6 Isco (Real Madrid)
A top talent struggling to get a place in La Liga’s leading side available and looking for first-team football? Sound familiar, Arsenal fans? Both Sanchez and Ozil joined the Gunners in similar situations to the one Isco is currently in and who’s to say he wouldn’t be as successful as those two? Arsenal would be able to sign the forward for less than £30m, which, at 24-years-old, represents quite the bargain.
5/6 Kylian Mbappe (Monaco)
Arsenal looked at 18-year-old Mbappe last summer and they’re continuing to monitor his progress at Monaco. The teenager is one of the most coveted in Europe and after his recent performance against Manchester City in the Champions League he looks like he has all the attributes to fill the Sanchez void. Like Anthony Martial when he left Monaco, Mbappe would not come cheaply, however.
6/6 Edinson Cavani (Paris Saint-Germain)
Arsenal know they type of damage Cavani can do having impressed against them in this year’s Champions League and a 20-goal-a-season, coming in from the left is exactly what they’d be missing should Sanchez. The Uruguayan has been linked with the Premier League for years without a move coming to fruition and it would be a gamble as Cavani would command a hefty transfer fee and wage packet having come from the Qatari-owned PSG.
“It’s like, you do not make this kind of decision focusing on one result or two bad results. You have to take a bigger picture and see can you take this club to the next level, take yourself to the next level, are you ready to pay the price for that but as well this decision is not necessarily linked with two weeks out of 20 years you know so that’s basically… I don’t feel I box myself in a corner.”
Wenger accepted that this had been a tough time, but argued that some of it is a matter of perspective, in what appeared a slightly cheeky dig at clubs who have not reached the last 16 of the Champions League. The most obvious of those, of course, is Tottenham Hotspur.
“Yeah, everything is a negative at the moment, basically the teams that have gone out in the group stage they are happy you know but we have gone through and we are in crisis,” he added.
“That is of course the problem but that’s part of it. We failed in the second half at Bayern Munich and we have paid for it. Having said that, we didn’t play against a weak team as well. We played against a team who fights to win the competition.
“I think people forget the circumstances a little bit. We lost [Laurent] Koscielny straight after and in seven minutes we conceded three goals. It’s a shock to take, you know, and… but of course it’s very disappointing but unfortunately my job you have to take some bad things as well.”
Asked what to expect from his side in a game where qualification appears beyond them, Wenger said he wanted a display befitting the occasion.
“Well you hope always the best before the game, you know, and I think what I expect from the team is just honour, respect the competition because we fight hard to be there, as I told you, respect who we are playing for and get out with that.”Reuse content